House In Leiria / Aires Mateus

© FG+SG – , Sergio Guerra

Architects: Manuel Aires Mateus
Location: Leiria,
Collaborator: Humberto Fonseca, Luísa Sol, Tiago Santos
Project year: 2008 – 2010
Photographs: FG+SG – Fernando Guerra, Sergio Guerra

© FG+SG – Fernando Guerra, Sergio Guerra

The site is on the outskirts of Leiria, in a high position overlooking the city.

section 04
© FG+SG – Fernando Guerra, Sergio Guerra

The functions are banal: a house divided in private area with bedrooms, and social area with living-rooms. The private areas are at street level under the plot, around a central courtyard with rooms opening to private patios in a intimate environment. The living rooms are around a void, that collects light from above and gazes the castle at the city centre.

© FG+SG – Fernando Guerra, Sergio Guerra

The house is a recognizable archetype emptied of its centre by the light designed by a three heighted courtyard that opens horizontally at the garden level. The bedroom courtyards, revealed in the garden, relate with this archetypal object providing different readings on its scale. Scale and volume are controlled in a chaotic context, with a clear identity that from its core relates with the historical legacy far away: the Leiria Castle.

Cite: "House In Leiria / Aires Mateus" 10 Mar 2011. ArchDaily. Accessed 20 Sep 2014. <>


    • Thumb up Thumb down +6

      I heard that the lady still waiting for the husband that fallen into one of the holes after he came home drunk !! we are so sorry for that .

      • Thumb up Thumb down 0

        really? I also think it is not safe enough, especially when the room owner has a child~

  1. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    Beautiful piece of architecture. Amazing spaces and incredible details! This is modern craftsmanship at its best!

  2. Thumb up Thumb down +1

    Beautiful project, except for those way-too-hieratical plans; maybe it’s my fault, but i had to cross them with the pictures to get a hint of how the spaces are arranged.

  3. Thumb up Thumb down -7

    Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.

  4. Thumb up Thumb down +1

    I must disagree with everybody. I really don’t think that surroundings are so hideous that you that you don’t put any window to them: “The site is on the outskirts of Leiria, in a high position overlooking the city.” You can have your view only to the sky or white walls. I wonder how you can convince client to something like that???

  5. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    Although beautifully done, this is a very introvert house, denying its inhabitants two basic freedoms – the freedom of views(except thru the “tunnel”) and the freedom of movement( getting to the surface from the bedrooms)

  6. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    beautiful project … Another great work of the architect Aires Mateus.

    Poetry to be lived ..:!

  7. Thumb up Thumb down +2

    This house is not made for people.

    and the plans: is this art? I do not understand.

  8. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    The design is really amazing, but I don’t think that the house needs so much isolation from the surrounding space

  9. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    This is really ballsy…. And I love it!! Obviously, the clients were on board and knew what they were getting themselves into. Who are you guys to question them? I don’t know if I could live there, but it’s a very interesting project..

  10. Thumb up Thumb down -2

    I really don’t know how this project got licencing… The security issues on those “holes” on the ground are so evident! I’d like to see the licencing plans for the project… I’m pretty sure the architects are breaking some laws here… Its not need to say that here in Portugal this is considered “false declarations” and treated as crime… But it seems that the starchitects are above the law. Its really sad to see professionals like this become stars.

  11. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    all i can say is…wow. a thought-provoking piece of art. definitely bookmarked this one

  12. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    An absolutely beautiful structure I would just look at, but never live in.

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